Friday, June 23, 2006

Hot Yoga

Ok, so for those of you who have experienced this phenomenon, the title to this post should say it all. For those of you who haven't yet experienced it, then let me tell you a bit about my first time. (And even if you have already experienced it, then you should still read this post, if not for any other reason than to nod your head a lot in agreement. As we all know, nodding in agreement is GREAT exercise, so it's a post that's good for you, and I'm all for promoting good health, dammit.)

Here’s where I go for my new Hot Yoga classes…I am bound by my checkbook (and my stinginess) to go to 4 more classes within the next 14 days. Since I’m a new student there, I got the "special" deal of 5 classes for just $30, which isn’t a bad deal, really.

Especially if one is keen on dying in a sweaty, hot, nasty pile of goo after 20 minutes of yoga in a room that is being kept at a lovely, sweltering 110 degrees.

Benefits of this type of yoga? During the course of the class, I think I sweat off the equivalent weight of a small child in water alone. I am wearing jeans today that I washed on Sunday this past week, and haven’t worn yet since I washed them, and I didn’t feel the need to stretch them out a bit before wearing them someplace like a full day at work, as I usually do. They buttoned right up, and were comfy and everything, so that’s a nice feeling. Plus, I feel the usual benefits of yoga-type exercise…I feel all stretched out and relaxed and like my muscles are happy that I used them for something other than sitting, walking around the house, and lying down in bed. That’s always a good feeling.

Downside of this type of yoga? Early on, I started looking at the clock to see how much longer we had to continue with this "exercise" (read: torture), and I was deeply and sorely disappointed to see that only 15 minutes had passed when I first glanced at it. When I looked again, it was only 5 minutes later, and I was certain, certain!, that I was going to be the first person to bolt out the door, never to return again. The teacher (I like to think of her as being a prettier, taller, funnier Hitler. I actually started calling her Ms. Hitler in my mind about 5 minutes after the class started…not my fault, really. She had a German accent, and was the deliverer of something evil…) told us that if we felt the need to sit down, to please do so, but please try to stay in the room. As soon as she said that, I came to the realization that she was clearly reading my thoughts, and this was a more dangerous woman than I had previously considered her to be. I was sure that very soon, she would start the general brainwashing and then anal probing of the class that I figured must occur after the first half hour, since by then, we were all sweaty, submissive piles of goo and that’s the best time to perform all brainwashing and anal probing, as I understand it.

I seriously felt like I was going to throw up about 25 minutes into the class, so I thought it might be best to heed her advice and sit down for a bit. Basically, my body felt like it was combusting, but doing a slow, painful burn starting from the inside out. After a couple of minutes of sitting, I felt less nauseous, and stood up to join back in. I wasn’t alone, by the way…there was a skinny blond chick in the back of the room that was sitting down, too, so it’s not because I’m some fat girl, or whatever. I had to sit down a couple more times, in fact, (as did the skinny blond chick, as well as a couple of other people that made it longer than skinny girl and me before they had to sit down for the first time) and I wasn’t embarrassed to do it. I think it would have been much more embarrassing to have to carry my mat out carefully so as not to spill any vomit, so sitting down when I felt the need to was a good idea, I think.

As we finished the class (YES! I made it through the whole thing!), I planned on stopping quickly at the super-bendy man’s mat and stealing the bottle of Gatorade he had, but when I glanced over at him as I gathered my mat and towels (which were both soaked, by the way, as were my clothes from the skin to the outer layer of tank tops I was wearing…), it seemed he had already finished the entire thing, so that plan was foiled. I had a bottle of water in the car waiting for me, and I was very happy about that, but the problem was, I appeared to be craving something more…beer-like in form. Which was weird, I thought. I joked about needing a beer as I left the bathroom with my coworker that attended the class with me, and only got one laugh from one of the girls at the sink. Hm. Appears as though hot yoga attracts some more stick-in-the-mud, non-sense-of-humor types than I realized. All the rest of the girls gave me looks like, "Um, you did NOT just say that, did you? Fat slob…" (Don’t worry, I rubbed my sweaty, sweaty ass against at least 3 car-doors before I left, so I’m sure I got a couple of them back. And it wasn’t on purpose, really. I just needed to rest a few times between the yoga facility and my car in the parking lot, so it was incidental revenge in a way.)

I didn’t cool down very quickly, either. I noticed about halfway home that my skin felt like it was cool, obviously since I had the AC on in my car, and all. But the insides…my muscles, even my bones, still felt warm. It was a very funky sensation. But that’s the point of hot yoga, apparently. You’re heating up the internal parts of your body, and after an hour and a half of doing it, I believe it. I don’t see it as being cardio work, per se, as my coworker does, but I have to say that when I was sitting down and resting those few times during the class, I felt my heart rate was elevated, and I’m not sure what does that…so maybe it does have an element of cardio to it. I guess I’ll figure that out over time.

I’m really, really, really hoping that my body gets more and more used to the hot room with each class I take. While I still think it sucks royally to exercise in such an environment, it did do quite a number on me physically, so it’s attracting me to it just because of that alone. I’m thinking that if I do 2 classes a week, I could easily lose several pounds in the next couple of weeks. Not only do I feel so icky after the class that it makes me not very hungry (last night, I finally ate some soy yogurt, some brown rice, and had some grapefruit juice after I’d cooled down…), but the sweating…the sweating alone will definitely make me lose a bit of the extra, unnecessary water-weight I carry with me every day.

So there you have it…my first experience with hot yoga, and my feelings about why I would choose to continue after such a hellish first class. Besides the money issue (1 class for $30 is not economically sound in my mind…however 5 classes for just $6/class? That works for me), I really think that incorporating yoga into my regular weekly routine will help me physically and mentally over time.

(Oh, and they have a student referral program, by the way. If anyone lives in the KC area, reads this, and thinks, "Hey! That hot yoga shit is just my style!" then please send me an e-mail…my address is on my profile. I’ll give you my real name, and then you can let them know that I referred you when you go in for your first class. FYI, they also have Pilates and regular yoga classes there as well, so it isn’t just a bastion of evil, heated-yoga hell. They have an awesome schedule of classes (I’ll probably do one during the week, and then one on the weekends from now on), and it’s a great, big studio they hold the classes in. It’s nice.)

Thus ends the odyssey of my first Hot Yoga class, ever. It has to get easier from here on out, right? Right.

Dammit, just agree with me, ok? It’s easier in the long run…


FaithsTwin said...

sounds like quite the experience! Maybe I should find a hot yoga class around my parts so I can sweat out all this shit eating away at me. :) Thanks for the wake-up call this morning, btw. I came downstairs to hear that H had gone for a walk and run into one of the neighbors. She noted that it was so early (8:30) and the neighbor replied that they are always up early. H proceeded to tell her that "My Mom sleeps in REALLY late..." Great. Thanks. Now not only amd I the fat slob of a single Mom down the way from them, I am the fat slob who sleeps in and leaves the girls to fend for themselves...

Hunny said...

Dear Faithstwin,
Sounds like things have been rough for you and I want to say, I admire you as a single parent. I couldn't do it! Single Parents Rock! So in esscence You Rock!
I am sorry, but I don't think I would want to try Hot Yoga, I hate to sweat at all. I prefer to be cold, wrapped up in a blanket. But I have been walking a lot more.

BB said...

I tried hot yoga last fall and stuck with it for about a month. Your post makes me think I should start going again. I think I may even have some classes left in the pass I purchased. Good Luck!

nadine said...

I've been doing Bikram Yoga (hot yoga) for almost four years now (maybe I should measure it in gallons of sweat?). I won't promise that it will get "easier", and most of the time I still curse every minute I am in class... BUT! I have realized that I keep going back not for how I feel in class, but how I feel the other 22 and a half hours of the day. It really is an amazing form of exercise, and changes will happen faster than you could imagine.

reona said...


A few days ago, I did Hot Yoga for the first time.
It was very nice.

The price is very cheap!

I have to pay more moeny if I keep doing Hot Yoga.

Of course I will keep to do Hot Yoga.